With internships already recruiting for next summer’s precious few slots and on-campus research labs needing pages-long of achievement-ridden CVs, college students in the real world and the characters in “Put Your Head On My Shoulder” struggle with academic and career worries amidst mounting senioritis. Although watching the show won’t allow students to forget their woes, it’s comforting to know that these problems are felt by others all over the world enough to be displayed in international media.
The Chinese drama is a romantic comedy about the relationship between Situ Mo and Gu Weiyi, but it follows the lives and antics of peripheral characters as well. The characters push the narrative in “Put Your Head On My Shoulder” from Situ Mo, Gu Weiyi, all of their friends, and everyone they meet working towards their goals (even the lady in charge of Situ Mo’s dorm, Gu Weiyi’s research professor). It’s a slice-of-life as it mirrors how we all go about our lives, meeting people and acting or reacting to those around us. There’s a simplicity in the character dynamics and interactions that is familiar and charming to watch.
As the C-drama follows the characters in their senior year of college and the months after as they enter the workforce or continue studying, we see the process of learning even after college graduation — the best part of the C-drama. This drama truly encapsulates growth for students and people in their early 20’s, that transitory period that needs more representation in media. There are also so many interesting perspectives that can be addressed in this stage of life that are tackled with each and every character in this story from applying for jobs, finding a place in a post-grad research lab to taking the next steps in your relationships or even just trying to keep your head above water.
A rite of passage that every college student goes through is the rollercoaster of doubt over their major. Situ Mo (Fair Xing) certainly relates and concluded that accounting wasn’t what she wanted to do. Realizing her passion for advertising, her search for a relevant internship is complicated, though any recent grad regardless of major change can relate to the constant scramble to find a job that will take a chance on them. And even if some seniors don’t immediately go into the workforce, the process of hoping and praying after graduation is universal; some are vying for spaces in coveted research labs. Gu Weiyi (Lin Yi), the male lead of the drama, understands this desire well as a physics major planning to go into grad school. His research hours and the hilarious conflicts that arise out of being in a lab are situations that many of us can relate to at this STEM school.
The drama is amazingly detailed. The wardrobes of all of the characters are reused and repurposed throughout the show, just like a regular student’s fashion would look like. There aren’t any high-fashion clothes that show up one day and are never worn again despite the fact that the characters are “poor” (I love you, K-dramas, but sometimes you aren’t relatable in terms of closet capacity). It’s such a small detail, but it’s definitely noticeable and brings the characters closer to the viewer, making it easier to find a kinship with them. There are also easter eggs at the end of every episode that give the audience insight into a pivotal scene that occurred, usually something comedic or sweet. All of these small details make the drama even more realistic.
Not just a cute romance, “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” features characters in their senior year of college trying to figure out what to do with their lives, something any student can relate to no matter what year they are in. Do your best to stave off senioritis and get inspiration to keep applying for those labs by watching this comforting drama!
“Put Your Head On My Shoulder” is streaming on Netflix.